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Another {big} step towards the calm

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I started 2012 with the aim of making my life calmer. When I thought of my word for 2012 I knew instantly that it needed to be calm. For many reasons, for many years, my life has not been calm. Mainly due to start-up life throwing us the biggest set of challenges and craziness, one after another. But also because I have been trying to do too much for too long without creating enough time in which to do it. And then throw into that mix having three little children in a relatively short space of time.

I have known things need to change for a long time but making changes isn't always easy, especially when it involves decisions about work. As a woman it can be easy to think that we can, and should, have it all. To have a career, to be an amazing mother, to be a loving, supportive wife, to run  the house, and to do all this while looking like we've never had children or lost any sleep. Spin all the plates, juggle, juggle, juggle. I wanted it all. I wanted to be a full-time mother and a full-time photographer/business woman. I wanted to be there for my super busy husband. I wanted my house to permanently look like it was from the pages of Living Etc. {it never ever has as we are always too busy to implement any of my ideas!} I wanted to get my pre-babies body back. Not to mention the small matter of my PhD!

But in trying to do all of this I lost myself. I was totally exhausted most of the time. My head was buzzing like mad with to-do lists, plans, numbers, images, games, recipes, crafting... I was pretty good at keeping all these plates spinning. I can multi-task with the best of them. But I was anything but calm. I kept it all going but behind closed doors there were so many tears, dropped balls and regular overwhelming panic.

My children had a mother who was trying to do far too much and couldn't give them the proper attention they so deserve to have. My husband had to manage a very stressed out often erratic wife. And then one day after yet more tears, I said, "I just want to stop it all and be a mummy. To be the mummy I want to be but can't be because I'm so busy." And he said, "Right then, let's make that happen." In an instant l knew we really did have to make it happen. For all of us.

It's taken quite a long time to be able to get to the point where I can stop. But on Saturday I photographed my last wedding. There are no more booked into my diary. And for at least the rest of 2012 there will be no more. I don't want to say never, ever because you just never know. I am still working on photo shoots for the next few months but my diary feels completely managable and fairly calm. 

My worry when we first talked about me giving up work was that I might feel lost and perhaps bored. My husband's work life is super interesting, he connects with lots of people, he is well-known in his field, he gets to travel. I worried I would become incredibly dull! But I'm not worried about this now. I have reconnected with lots of things I used to do or have always wanted to do. I have learnt how to shoot for pleasure again and not just for work. I've started writing again thanks to this little blog. Obviously I don't want to fill my time to the brim all over again but it's good to have little projects that make me happy. And we've also made the decision to move back to a city where I have always felt to alive, inspired and me.

So, this weekend I took another step towards creating my inner sense of calm and wow it feels amazing. I feel like I can breathe properly again. Despite all this rain and cold, it's a beautiful place to be.



Super Daddy

It's the little things